Mornings after breakfast

This poem was just published in Red Eft Review. My thanks to editor Corey D. Cook for taking three of my poems for publication!

Mother hangs her tea bags on the door,
winds the strings around the knob. Drips,
like paw prints, stain the old wood floor.
I don’t know why she does it. She never
uses them again. After her tea she gets
the big pot and scrubs vegetables for soup.
Her knife is rhythmic against the cutting board,
her felt slippers scuffing from counter to stove
and back again. I see her mouth move sometimes
as she sways, mincing, mincing her life.

Sarah Russell
First published in Red Eft Review
Painting by Dmitri Matkovski
For Poetry Pantry

40 thoughts on “Mornings after breakfast

  1. An evocative memory that makes me think of the way we sometimes watch others, quietly, repeat actions that go on to become the frames of our memories and lives.


  2. Some minuscule things people do never leave the memory, I can still remember my moms even though she’s been gone almost seventeen years. Lovely write.


  3. Congratulations on the publication of your poems, Sarah! This one is so poignant. And I love the painting by Dmitri Matkovski, the perfect illustration.


  4. Wonderful poem – so evocative. So seemingly simple, but not so. You put us right there in the kitchen. I’ve saved many a tea bag I didn’t reuse, but sometimes I do. This could easily jump start a short story or novel. We can imagine what she’d play on the radio, who would appear if there were a knock at the door. Thanks, Sarah and thanks to Corey Cook. I’m going to look it up on Red Eft, too.


    1. Thanks so much, Alarie. Yes, it could start a novel, couldn’t it. Hadn’t thought of that, but then, you know I don’t think in novel terms. Too little life left to start one of those! You’ll love Red Eft. Very fast turn around for poems. Rose Mary Boehm publishes there. That’s how I learned of the venue.


  5. This is a very nice piece, capturing the constriction of a life lived by rote and sliced into digestible pieces.


  6. I really love that first line. The moment I read it, I knew I was about to glimpse into a remarkable. And what makes the poem more wonderful is that the wonder come from seemingly simple things.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s